Armed Forces Day was established by President John F. Kennedy in 1962. Even before that however it was created by the Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson on August 31, 1949. This holiday was meant to ban together the separate military branches of the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard in one single day. Although these branches are different in their missions, purpose, and function they all have one most important thing in common: the defense of our country by those we are closest to.
All of our military branches consist of people who are sons, daughters, husbands, wives, friends, and neighbors.
Whether they serve part-time in a guard or reserve component or are full-time active duty it is comprised of people who make a massive difference in our communities and families. There are many reasons that those who serve our country should be appreciated and celebrated. There are many sacrifices that need to be made on a daily basis. Some sacrifices are even the ultimate, permanent kind that requires a level of honor and heartbreak that military members knowingly volunteer for.
Something all military members can agree on is that time becomes one of the most valued things in life. All of the birthdays, graduations, and weddings that are missed when on duty. Even unforgettable moments like the birth of a child or the funeral of a loved one can be lost to the time serving. Those who choose to serve learn the value of memories. Behind every military member’s service is a reason “why” and although each person may have a different “why” it is clear that they deserve respect for their time of service, no matter how short or long.
My husband and I both serve in the Air National Guard.
As a dual service family, there are many trips, deployments, and trainings that require us to leave our boys behind. It’s never easy to leave and the time apart always makes you anxious to get back to your normal grind that sometimes can seem repetitive while home. There are also some really incredible experiences we get to have that we never would in our civilian lives. It’s not an easy path to take but when you are serving alongside other people who become like family and share your same challenges, it makes that bond even stronger.
Being in the military can come with a lot of uncertainty. There are times you don’t even know where you are going to live. There are times you don’t know where your plane is going to land until you get there. There are times when you don’t know when you’ll get to speak to your family again. There are times when you don’t even know if you ever will see your family again.
It is not just the member who is making sacrifices either.
Military families are a team and they serve together. Spouses and children make it possible to serve and to have a support system. They deserve recognition and appreciation as well because when you commit to being a military family you are committing to a certain lifestyle for everyone.
So today take time to acknowledge and remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. To those who currently are serving in places all over this world. To those who would trade in their civilian clothes for their military uniform at the moment of a phone call saying their service is needed. To those who add another element to their life that adds another level of responsibility and priority to their life.
Show appreciation for those in the Armed Forces today. This country couldn’t have the magnificent freedom it does today without them.
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